The Eagle River is a freestone tributary to the Colorado River, containing similar aquatic life. Its headwaters lie high in the White River National Forest, along Highway 24. These upper stretches are best for pocket water fishing with dry flies, and small nymphs. The majority of the public access for the Eagle is found along I-70 between the towns of Minturn, and Gypsum. A river map showing public access areas can be useful when fishing the Eagle due to a high number of short public stretches divided by private land. Despite its close proximity to I-70, the Eagle remains a top notch fishery, boasting beautiful views, and trophy sized rainbows.
Nymphs To Try: TDJ Golden Stone size 12-16, Pat’s Rubber Legs olive/brown size 8-12, Flash Back Pheasant Tail size 16-22, Tungsten Bead Flashback Hare’s Ear size 14-18, Ju-Ju Baetis red or black size 20-22, Foam Back Emerger grey or brown size 18-24, JuJuBee Midge black size 20-24, RS2 black or grey size 20-22, Grey bling Midge size 20-22
Dries To Try: Parachute Adams size 14-22, CDC Baetis Dun size 18-22, Matthew's Sparkle Dun BWO size 18-22, size 20-22 CDC Morgan's Midge, Midge olive or black size 18-24
Streamers To Try: Galloup’s Dungeon black or tan, Baby Gongas (olive, black, rainbow trout, and brown trout colors), Thin Mint size 4-8, Articulated Goldie, Wooly Buggers (olive, black, white), Pine Squirrel Leeches (black, purple, red), slump busters in various colors
River flows have been holding fairly steady in the low 200 CFS range here with water temps varying throughout the 40s. Some brown trout are still spawning so eggs could do the trick here, however we have been having the most luck on small dark Baetis and midge patterns. During a hatch dry fly fishing can be good in this zone, but in the absence of rising fish a nymph rig will be a good choice. Streamer fishing can also produce here, especially at this time of year.
Flows are about 200 CFS near Gypsum, with water temps varying thoughout the 40's. Weather has been warm, and mild this is a great time to fish the Eagle. Midges, and Baetis have been hatching, and golden stoenfly nymphs, and caddis larva also available to trout. It is also spawn season for brown trout here, so egg imitations and streamers can also be very effective at this time.
River flows on the Eagle have seen some fluctuations over the last week, but have seemed to level out near 240 CFS near Gypsum, CO. Water temps should be in the mid to upper 40’s, as we have seen mild weather this week with air temps in the 50’s -60’s. BWOs and small dark midges have been the most consistent hatches recently. Golden Stonefly Nymphs, caddis larva, eggs, and baitfish can also make up a portion of the trouts diet. Nymph rigs, dry flies, and streamers all have potential to hook fish at the moment.
River flows on the Eagle are 100-250 CFS between Vail and Gypsum, with water temps in the mid 40’s - mid 50’s. There are still a few active terrestrial insects in the lower part of the Vail Valley, but we have not been having much action fishing terrestrial patterns. Tricos are also on the way out, but we have been seeing strong midge and BWO hatches. Steamer and egg patterns have also been producing here. Our go to set up is an adjustable nymph rig featuring attractor patterns, and midge/BWO emergers. It can also pay off to carry a second rod rigged with BWO/midge dries to capitalize on short windows of rising fish.
The Eagle River is flowing between 100-200 CFS, with water temps in the mid 50’s. Conditions are great here at the moment, there are still strong hatches of aquatic insects, and lots of terrestrials insects along the river banks in the lower stretches of the Eagle. Hatches have included LOTS of Tricos, midges, and a few caddis. Both dry fly fishing, and nymph fishing have been productive techniques. It can be nifty to carry two rods here, one rigged up to capitalize on fishing dries during hatches, and the second rigged with nymphs to get a bit deeper into the water column. Streamer fishing can also be good here at this time of year.
The Eagle River is flowing at about 250 CFS at the town of Gypsum and is fishing well. Trout have moved into the riffles and are feeding actively getting ready for the winter. Small stonefly nymphs, caddis pupae, midge, and baetis have been producing fish most days. Nymphing has been the most successful technique, but dries can be effective if you find fish rising consistently. Streamer fishing should also pick up as the days get shorter and a bit cooler.
The Eagle River is raging at over 4000 CFS for the time being. Expect off color water and tough fishing. However the chance at hooking into a nice bow or brown is still present. Think large heavy attractor nymphs, worm patterns, and streamers if you are fishing the Eagle at this time.
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